Bishop in Ghana Urges Sacred Heart Devotees to Be “merciful to Mother Earth”
CANAA || By By Damian Avevor, Ghana || 05 September 2016
Ghanaian Bishop Peter Atuahene of Goaso Diocese in the brong Ahafo Region, has called on devotees to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Catholics in general to be merciful to the earth by joining in the fight against the indiscriminate destruction of the environment.
He said the abusing of the earth, should be a worry to all, appealing to all to be merciful to the earth by avoiding the unprecedented destruction of the environment.
In a homily at the closing Mass of the ninth Sacred Heart Congress at the Amaniampong Senior high School at Asante-Mampong in the Konongo-Mampong Diocese on September 4, Bishop Atuahene said the earth was under threat and was crying for help.
The four-day Congress, from September 1 to 4, 2016, attended by about 20,000 Devotees, league Tarcisians of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Confraternity, members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Priests and Religious was on the theme: Committing the Family to the Mercy of God through the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Bishop Atuahene reminded the faithful that all charged with the protection of the environment should know that the environment is God’s handiwork and protecting it was an indication of being faithful to God.
He urged the Devotees to become ambassadors of clean environment, decrying the persistent pollution of water bodies, the littering of plastic waste everywhere, the careless felling of trees in our forests and savannah area and the rampant mining operations in towns and villages.
He called on national authorities to find ways of stopping the degradation of the environment and allow the law that prevented the destruction of the environment to effectively work.
He urged Ghanaians to endeavour to protect the earth and environment, advising the authorities to endeavour learn from Rwanda, which had clean Cities due to the enforcement of environmental laws.
The Bishop urged Ghanaians to acquire the habit, not only to clean up their surroundings but most importantly, learn how not to make the environment dirty in the first place.
He also urged Catholics and others to read and practice Pope Francis' Encyclical, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home, saying it provided a good resource for all, but most especially, policymakers.
Bishop Atuahene thanked the leadership of the Sacred Heart Enthronement Centre for their hard work, dedication, love and tenacity of purpose in ensuring that the Congress was successful.
He encouraged the Devotees to extend the love and mercy of God to their families and prayed that families and relatives would experience the fruits of the Congress which is based on mercy.
The Congress attended by the Members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference is on the theme: Understanding the Eucharist through the devotion to the sacred of Jesus and living this devotion in our daily lives especially in our families.
The Congress, held every five years, was organised by the National Sacred of Jesus Enthronement Centre, which was happy many Catholics attended the historic event.
Most Rev. Gabriel Justice Anokye, Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi led the Prayer of Self-dedication; while Most Rev. Joseph Afrifah-Ayekum, Bishop of Koforidua and Most Rev. Joseph Francis Essien, Bishop of Wiawso led in the renewal of the consecration of Ghana and the Konongo-Mampong Diocese to the Sacred Heart of Jesus respectively.
Speaking on the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Mercy of God, in a Sermon at a Mass on Saturday September 3, Most Rev. Charles Palmer-Buckle, Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, reminded the Devotees that blessed were the pure in Spirit, they shall see God.
He said those were merciful would sure obtain mercy and urged the Devotees not to allow the year to pass by without benefitting from the mercy of God, asking them to allow themselves to be surprised, convinced and converted by the mercy of God.
The Archbishop said as Sacred Heart Devotees, they invited to taste and see the mercy of God, be missionaries of mercy and ambassadors of God’s reconciliation and oases of mercy, exhorting them walk in the footsteps of Mary who was a woman of faith, pure, humble and of service.
He said wherever the Church was present, the mercy of God must be evident in Church communities, parishes, Rectories, Associations, Societies, Movements and Confraternities, emphasising that wherever there Christians, there must be oases of mercy.
He urged the youth to emulate the virtues of Mary and entrust themselves to God, advising Catholics to be merciful to those who offended them by forgiving them unconditionally.
In a goodwill message to the Congress, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle, admonished the Devotees to pray fervently for the nations as it prepares for the December elections and it moves into the year 2017 which Ghana’s 60th anniversary of Independence.
There were goodwill messages from all the Bishops, who congratulated the Sacred Heart Enthronement Centre for successfully organizing the Congress.
In an address, Mr. Mohammed Kwadwo Aboasu, Municipal chief executive of Mampong, commended the Devotees for embarking on the spiritual exercise, urging them to show unconditional love to all.
He praised the Catholic Church for her continuous cordial relation with government, urging the faithful to pray for peace and unity during and after the 2016 general elections.